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It has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for many communities in this country since Christmas, storm has followed storm and we have received more rainfall in the last two months than at any time over a comparable period for over two hundred years.
Regardless of the rights and wrongs governing the authorities preparedness or lack of it, what do we consider is the cause of these extreme weather events? Is it, as the man-made global warming advocates would have you believe that it is all down to human intervention, or is it part of a cyclical process of change that the planet goes through over the millennia?
I notice that we also seem to have dropped the phrase "global warming" in favour of climate change. Is this because of the recent 15 year hiatus in observed global temperature increase? This recent report from the metoffice makes interesting reading [The recent pause in global warming]1 it goes into great detail attempting to explain the pause in warming but does not come to any firm conclusion on whether man is to blame for the changes to our climate we are observing.
Not so long ago I can remember being told we would be experiencing much hotter drier summers, indeed we would have to adopt a mediterranean style of gardening because of the increasing droughts we would be facing. That seems a slightly incongruous statement now!
We were also told to expect warmer wetter winters, well this winter is certainly wetter that's for sure, but has it been warmer? North America is experiencing Snow, Ice and freezing temperatures as far south as Florida, their winter has been far more extreme than usual.
I am not a climate scientist and I don't purport to understand a lot of the science involved in predicting the worlds climate, but what if the climate changes that we are witnessing are part of the cyclical changes that our planets weather goes through over the millennia? What if nothing that man can do through his puny interventions will have any bearing on our weather patterns?
Are we not wasting billions on attempting to influence something which we ultimately have no control over, when instead we should be spending those billions on measures that will protect our communities from the inevitable results of our increasingly difficult to predict weather patterns?
"what do we consider is the cause of these extreme weather events?"
The Jet Stream
I don't think anyone can deny that weather patterns are changing and have changed throughout the life of the planet.
I don't know how the present rate of change compares with previous transitions, but wouldn't be surprised if it is being exacerbated by human activity.
There are a lot of us on this planet now and it's not that big that conditions can't be influenced by the changes we've made over the last couple of hundred years.
I doubt we can reverse the effects of human life on the planet voluntarily. Rather natural disasters will eventually force change.
'I am not a climate scientist and I don't purport to understand a lot of the science involved'
And nor are those who dispute the notion that the climate is changing.
The term 'global warming' turned out to be too subtle for those who couldn't get to grips with the reality that an average increase in global temperature results in some places getting colder weather.
Those who seek to deny climate change and global warming, are no more in touch with reality, than those who seek to prevent the teaching of evolution in schools, in favour of Creationism.
I cannot see how there can be any doubt, that humans have had a significant influence, on the current warming phase of world climate.
Something like 95% of scientists who work in the field agree that our actions have had a significant effect on world weather patterns.
They may be wrong, but the odds are good that they have got at least some of it right. If we all adopt the attitude that 'it's all part of the planet's normal cyclical behaviour, so it's not worth trying to change things' we're gambling. Worse, we're gambling without being able to calculate the risks involved.
We can do nothing, twiddle our thumbs and hope, or we can do something and see if it helps. I know which option I'm going for.
I don't think there is any really disputable doubt that the climate is changing!
It is, of course it is. What I am unsure about is the effect we humans are having on that change. I am of the opinion that the effect the human race is having on the climate is very debatable.
I incline more to the opinion that what we are witnessing are cyclical changes in the planets climate which have happened before over the millennia and there is very little if anything that we can do to influence these changes.
"I incline more to the opinion that what we are witnessing are cyclical changes in the planets climate which have happened before over the millennia and there is very little if anything that we can do to influence these changes."
On what is your opinion based?
If the changes are attributable to cyclical patterns in the planet's weather how do you know - what's the evidence that causes you to take that view - or is it just one of those gut feelings?
A friend (sadly died 2 years ago in a fishing accident) was the Principal of the Met Office college, and Chairman of the DEFRA climate change committee. He pointed out that there have always been natural cycles, such as volcanic activity, solar activity and so on. However there is no doubt that the over 6 billion human's activity is an EXTRA and significant contribution and one that can, with care, be alleviated by such things as hydro electric power (including tidal), carbon capture in power stations (without which electric cars only transfer road pollution to power stations). Solar is in its infancy, as is "harvesting" energy from the earths core where the mantle is thin enough (as in Iceland). We humans do have a significant additional effect on the long term climate above and beyond the so called "natural" cycles.
My opinion is based on articles like this and this, but your right ultimately not being a scientist it comes down to a gut feeling. I might be wrong or right, but it just seems that there are as many vested interests in the "climate change" lobby to sell us stuff as there are in any other pressure group.
Who knows, but with the differences that there are on this subject agreement for any sort of meaningful global change seems remote.
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